A career in Navy cryptology gives one great respect for the need to protect classified information. Intentional or accidental disclosures threaten intelligence sources and methods and endanger colleagues. The secrecy needed in special operations is no different; divulging facts about past missions, exposing tactics and capabilities, or simply drawing attention to the community increase the risks faced by operators, provide open-source intelligence to our adversaries, and limit tactical and strategic options.
With this understanding our leaders in and out of uniform must stop politicizing and exploiting special-operations and intelligence capabilities for the wrong purposes. This issue is unfortunately in the spotlight after several alleged incidents of classified leaks, most recently No Easy Day, a book by a former Navy SEAL detailing the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Of everyone who has allegedly leaked classified information, that author has come under the most scrutiny. But should the scrutiny of his actions be any more severe than that faced by others?